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About Christopher

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Netwroks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He runs MuniNetworks.org as part of ILSR’s effort to ensure broadband networks are directly accountable to the communities that depend upon them. More

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mn-rural-fiber/

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2015

Op-ed: Spanish Fork Proves Utah Law is Counter-Productive

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/op-ed-spanish-fork-proves-utah-law-is-counter-productive/

The Salt Lake Tribune published this op-ed championing local investment in Internet infrastructure on December 11, 2015.   Op-ed: Spanish Fork’s success shows municipal Internet networks work By Christopher Mitchell For nearly 10 years, large telephone and cable companies have claimed municipal Internet networks are so risky that local government authority should be restricted. But… Continue reading

SandyNet Goes Gig
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2015

SandyNet Goes Gig: A Model for Anytown, USA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sandynet-goes-gig-a-model-for-anytown-usa/

Many of the most beautiful communities in the United States are in remote areas where incumbent cable and telephone companies have decided not to offer modern, high-quality Internet connectivity. Sandy, Ore., is one of them. Some 10,000 people live there among the lush green forests and beautiful vistas of the “Gateway to Mount Hood,” 25… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 1, 2015

Op-Ed: Community Broadband Networks Drive NC Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/op-ed-community-broadband-networks-drive-nc-economy/

The Roanoke Daily Herald published this op-ed about local government action for broadband networks on September 25, 2015. We were responding to an earlier Op-Ed, available here. Christopher Mitchell wrote the following op-ed. It is stunning any legislator can look at the constituents they serve in rural North Carolina and think, “‘These people don’t need… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 31, 2015

Opportunities and Challenges as Lafayette Considers Muni Fiber Expansion – Community Broadband Bits Episode 144

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/opportunities-and-challenges-as-lafayette-considers-muni-fiber-expansion-community-broadband-bits-episode-144/

After we heard that Lafayette’s LUS Fiber was considering expanding to some nearby communities, we knew we had to set up an interview with Terry Huval, Director of the Lafayette Utilities System in Louisiana. In our interview this week, Terry and I discuss Lafayette’s success, the legacy of the law creating special barriers that only… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 17, 2015

Bozeman’s Public-Private Approach In-Depth – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 142

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/bozemans-public-private-approach-in-depth-community-broadband-bits-podcast-142/

In Montana, local businesses and the city of Bozeman have been working on a public-private partnership approach to expanding Internet access that is likely to involve the city building an open access fiber network. We discuss their approach this week with Brit Fontenot, Economic Development Director for the city of Bozeman; David Fine, Bozeman Economic… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 10, 2015

Reaction to the FCC Decisions, Dissent, and Next Steps – Community Broadband Bits Episode 141

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reaction-to-the-fcc-decisions-dissent-and-next-steps-community-broadband-bits-episode-141/

After the FCC decisions to remove barriers to community networks and to reclassify Internet access as a Title II service to enforce network neutrality rules, Lisa and I spend some time discussing the decision and reactions to it. We also discuss my presentation at Freedom to Connect, where I offer some thoughts on what communities… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 3, 2015

Rural Electric Co-Mo Coop Goes Gig – Community Broadband Bits Episode 140

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/rural-electric-co-mo-coop-goes-gig-community-broadband-bits-episode-140/

As high quality Internet has become more essential for business and quality of life, those who realized that the existing telecom providers had no intention to invest in better connections in their rural Missouri communities began to ask their electric cooperative – Co-Mo – to step up and do it. This week, we talk with… Continue reading

filed under General | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2015

Mesa’s Focus on Dig Once and Fiber Leases Pays Off – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 139

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mesas-focus-on-dig-once-and-fiber-leases-pays-off-community-broadband-bits-podcast-139/

Arizona’s city of Mesa is one of the largest communities in the nation to benefit from the city taking role in ensuring conduit and fiber are available throughout the area. This week we talk wi… Continue reading